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Wednesday, 9 April Update

Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin speaks.

Cayman's leaders were looking to a continuing calm spell in the COVID-19 crisis in the Cayman Islands during the coming Easter weekend.

However, the call remains for maintaining current vigilance in the ongoing battle against the present strain of coronavirus that has devastated the world as a pandemic.

Yesterday, US authorities removed a container on a ship that was leaving for the Cayman Islands with eight ventilators and 50,000 masks that were produced and purchased in the US. This was a source of huge disappointment and Government is hoping that it can get them released and shipped to Cayman.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee reported:

  • There were no further results to report. 48 samples await testing.

  • The Health Services Laboratory is currently going through validation testing for the new testing reagents that have arrived.

  • One COVID-19 inpatient at the Health Services Authority has now been discharged from the respiratory unit bringing the hospitalised COVID-19 patients down to one.

  • Collaboration is underway with Health City, Doctors Hospital and the HAS to facilitate a national approach to testing is taken. This way all entities will be using the same system and process so they can better share the resources across the three hospitals that are able to contribute to this.

  • This will enable healthcare professionals to determine who needs to be tested.

  • Strict protocols for trash disposal of positive persons are in place including keeping the fully sealed trash bags for 72 hours inside and then disposing of them.

Commissioner of Police, Mr. Derek Byrne reported:

  • Little Cayman had no issues over hard curfew; Cayman Brac had 16 interceptions with two found in breach and warned for prosecution; Grand Cayman had 120 interceptions but no breaches of curfew; also one pedestrian was stopped for breach of curfew and warned for prosecution.

  • During this morning's soft curfew: two persons were found in breach of curfew and warned for prosecution; one of those was working outside the scope of his work permit.

  • No camping will be allowed over the Easter weekend; all found will be treated as breaches of curfew and prosecuted.

  • Easter Sunday is a full lockdown with the result the hard curfew that starts at 7 pm Saturday will continue unabated until 5 am on Easter Monday.

  • The process for issuing curfew breaches tickets is almost complete, including legal requirements, and is expected to start soon.

Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin said:

  • The US authorities removed a shipment from a container that was destined for the Cayman Islands and included eight ventilators and 50,000 masks that were produced and purchased in the US. This was a source of huge disappointment and Government is hoping to have them released and shipped.

  • Government is trying to get a further 30 ventilators from another source.

  • Persons who had complaints that they had not been paid their salaries should contact the Department of Labour and Pensions (DLP).

  • There would be no press briefings on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The laboratory has also been advised to close on these days so that the staff can get much deserved rest.

His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper said:

  • One hundred and sixty-five thousand Covid-19 test kits arrived on Grand Cayman this morning with a further 35,000 are on their way via London. The consignment of tests kits was procured in South Korea and delivered here on a long-range jet.

  • The complex and challenging arrangements for the procurement and consignment were led by the Governor's Office in collaboration with the Cayman Regiment, the Ministry of International Trade, Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs, the private sector and the British Embassy in Seoul who undertook due diligence to assure the quality of the testing kits and helped with local logistics.

  • The team also worked closely with local businessmen Mr Vernie Coe and Mr Craig Merren who provided the initial contacts for the suppliers. The logistics were supported by the Dart Corporation who arranged and funded the aircraft charter to fly the consignment from Seoul via Anchorage to the Cayman Islands. Thirty-five thousand kits had to be sent via commercial means via London due to capacity constraints on the chartered aircraft and will arrive at a later date.

  • The overall cost of the kits was US$4.4 million. Representing a cost per kit of US$22. In an incredibly generous gesture, local philanthropist Mrs. Susan Anne Olde, OBE donated half of the amount for the purchase.

  • This consignment will enable our health professionals and front line workers, and large numbers of the public to be tested. This is a huge step in keeping on track with the containment part of our strategy.

  • The generous donation from Mrs Olde and the financing of the aircraft by Dart demonstrate the real strength that we can bring to this fight when we combine government and private sector resources and expertise.

  • The collaboration has shown "Team Cayman" at work at its best.

Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said:

  • As a result of previous requests, the Blood Bank had received 67 units of red blood cells and 15 new donors have signed on. (For the full remarks by Minister Seymour, see separate release.)

Sidebar: Premier Provides Daily Global Stats

Worldwide, the figures for today are 1,491,785 cases; total recovered: 319,064.

Jamaica63 3 



New York149,316+6,9326,268+779



Bermuda39 2 
British Virgin Islands3   
Turks & Caicos8 1 


Sidebar: Minister Seymour Gives Update on 'Flu Clinic

Good afternoon Cayman. I would like to start today by saying 'Thank you Cayman'. After my appeal for blood donors last week, the Blood Bank now has a couple weeks' worth of donations on hand. Within a few days of my first public appeal, the Blood Bank received 67 units of red blood cells and have 15 new donors.

It makes me very proud to hear about members of the community providing this gift of life to those in need. Although the blood bank has a few weeks of blood supply, since blood has an expiry date, they will continue to take donations from this point forward. They can be contacted at 244-2674, email Blood Bank or you can schedule an appointment online at It is important to call or go online to schedule an appointment and not travel to the hospital unless you have a confirmed appointment.

Moving on, I would like to give you an update on the flu clinic and flu. Since the opening of the new flu clinic March 16th, the flu clinic has had 370 patient visits, 34 of those in Cayman Brac. Over the past week we have seen 69 patients in Grand Cayman and 10 in Cayman Brac. This number is higher than the previous week which was 61 and 6 respectively, which can attribute to people calling into the flu hotline first or self-medicating at home, etc. In total the hotline has received over 1959 calls since mid-March. The average number of calls this past week is around 62 per day, which is less than the previous average of 75 per day.

The majority of these patients seen at the flu clinic are adults ages 20 - 64. Although the number of children seen in the flu clinic is much lower than adults, they are also a vulnerable group, therefore the Health Services Authority has opened a flu clinic dedicated just to children. This clinic is open Monday - Friday 9am -3pm and is located just inside the hospital, behind the current flu clinic.

This is a precautionary measure taken to keep the children separate from the adult flu cases. Converting this space into a fully equipped paediatric flu clinic is another proactive measure our health system is taking to help ensure the health and safety of our country's children.

As a reminder, if you are experiencing flu symptoms, please call the Flu Hotline first as the medical professionals who man these lines will advise you as to what you should do as next steps. For instance, they may recommend you self-medicate at home, or depending on your symptoms, you may need to come to the clinic. This applies for Cayman Brac residents as well as Faith Hospital also has a Flu Clinic.

It is important to call ahead to be property triaged, and then follow the direction of the flu hotline. Those numbers are 1-800-534-8600 or 947-3077 or email mailto:Flu Hotline.

As you know, the 165,000 of the 200,000 test kits arrived from South Korea this morning which is great news. We now also have 1,320 swabs which are required to conduct the tests with more orders on the way. Our COVID national response team, including the CMO and Public Health will prioritize who they will be testing first, in regards to essential frontline workers.

There were many people involved to make this happen and we thank you. This involved the Governor's Office, Local businessmen, Dart, CBC, Port Authority, HSA and their facilities team, Public Works and Thompson Shipping who provided refrigerated containers to store the test kits, among others.

The public and private hospitals are also working together, as the CMO mentioned yesterday, to put in place processes to get the samples tested in an effective and efficient manner utilizing the testing capacities across the island.

Yesterday I asked banks to consider opening additional branches to help with congestion at the current limited locations. In addition to the over the counter transactions which are still open to the public, there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes for individuals and businesses alike.

I want to send special thanks to the local banks, their management and staff who are working tirelessly behind the scenes to meet payment deadlines and process the necessary transactions which this government needs in order to secure supplies for patients and our frontline staff and first responders. We appreciate everything you are doing to help keep these crucial transactions moving forward.

I'd like to also give a few other shout outs. To Jacqueline Harrison who has been helping with front line staff accommodation and Andrea Fa'amoe who has been assisting with urgent curfew requests, including those that need a letter for making blood donations.

The Public Works department has been an incredible help to the HSA in assisting with multiple projects, including relocation of the Physiotherapy Department to Smith Road Centre, setting up of the Respiratory Care Unit, setting up the Flu Clinic and assisting with the shipments of new supplies arriving on island.

For all information, e-addresses and advisories, please visit

For further information contact: Bina Mani